Faculty Member, Dr Todd Voss, University Dr Boss discussed on SWU Soul Stories


Everybody Teeth Malik. And welcome to sluice all stories and I have a very special guest with us today. I have President Dr Todd Voss from Southern University Dr Boss. Thank you for giving us this time today. Yeah it's like to be able to chat so we'd are in the middle of just. I mean the word that's used over and over is unprecedented where the middle of this unprecedented situation. People are wondering you know how is other Wesleyan Kinda rose to the occasion arose to this challenge? So let me ask you first winded. When did you guys know okay? We're going to have to make some major changes because we were on spring break when everything just started happening rapidly. So we do. I didn't even come across your desk. That okay we're GONNA have to adjustments really. It was that Sunday before Spring Break. March eight that. I was starting to get calls from colleagues saying. Are you watching the news? This is really happening. And you know it's interesting how individuals start to deal with crisis because there are several people that struggle with What's the next thing and some just want to pretend it's not happening There's kind of the shock thing that happens and then others really want to jump to action and it's interesting southern I've that we have people that really do want to jump to action and so it wasn't a very difficult transition for us to start thinking being and start to realize what kind of impact this would have on our students it to me. It was an immediate students. I how are we going to take care of our students and to the point of knowing that we're all going to be sacrificing to do the best we can for that so it was really that weekend and then into that week as we started to talk more as administrative team of what were the logical responses to that kind of a pandemic that looked like it was really gonna? Happen even here in the AFC to South Carolina. Yeah so own. I believe it was Thursday march twelfth. The announcement goes out. Hey we are a week from today. We're going all online classes. I know some of our faculty very much equipped to do that. Some of them. This is all new territory. So what was that process like just working with the faculty? I know Dr April wipe us our new provost and all this is happening. She's getting you know I save time if you're looking at her is that she's thinking what did I just. That's right now. She is such a trooper in the in. The idea here was that we already knew that we had a pretty good Qadri in terms of faculty that that got online and it but we did have a group of faculty members that really had to be brought up to speed and the interesting thing about online is it can be in lots of different directions and so the neat thing about Dr White was that she was open to really developing a rapid change Training kind of program for them so so we knew that the first question was. Can we extend spring break just a little bit so training can happen and the answer that was absolutely and of course students would totally celebrate that right? And so so we did that with the knowledge that We're letting stoops no we're going to start these courses online for you and and that's probably how it's going to go at least in the foreseeable future. Not Predicting this will go to the end of the semester. We didn't know enough yet at that point and actually even today. We don't know enough yet right so we wanted to create something. It was flexible enough so at that point really that Friday and all that weekend our team and April and our deans and a lot of key faculty members were just literally grinding it out creating incredible training platform and very successful platform for for our faculty to get up to speed from then. We knew that we wanted to have classes that we we knew lot of colleges were avoiding classes for week More but we wanted to get going because we wanted to make sure that we were maintaining the academic quality in the expectation. So we can still in the semester On the right week in so we didn't want to get into trouble with creditors or anything like that. We WanNa make sure students getting the value they had paid for so that was the push and turns out. That was a very wise thing to do. I don't think it was US ending. God did that for sort of instilled on her spirit that this was important and now we're seeing even more why that was important to do that. That gay students actually Thursday and Friday to take care of their money was Friday Tuesday Thursday courses and get prepared for what this was going to be for them. Because that's really the next question really is are students ready for online right right and we moved all of our adult and graduate program several years ago to all online and so in some ways we were prepared. We didn't know we were prepared for a pandemic but we really were so how you know. You have students who have not had any experience online. Lorenzo right so what were some of the things in steps we we took to help. Get them up to speed. So the faculty then started to converse with the students and and by text or by email and social media to try to make sure that they were ready to To get into what we call my Sou- which is our portal and Cert- test driving what we're starting to put out there The other piece about this was that We know that Gen Z. Is coming to southern Wesleyan with some level of digital expertise now it may not be an online course but it certainly is online learning and so four Jay Z. This was not that big of a transition now. Is it something they want? Probably not? Many of them are good. But many of them say oh. I just missed the senior faculty member of my my peers in the classroom. And we we really get that and we want to get back to that as soon as we possibly can but But then we discovered of course students here..

Coming up next